WASHINGTON, DC, March 28, 2021 (ENS) – President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders to participate in a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate he will host on Earth Day April 22 and on the following day April 23, fulfilling a promise he made during his first week in office. The virtual Leaders Summit will be live-streamed for public viewing.

The President invited President Xi Jinping of China and President Vladimir Putin of Russia to take part in the summit. The White House has said the Biden administration would like to cooperate with Russia and China on climate change in spite of tensions between the countries in several other areas.

The United States is the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind China. India is third and Russia is the world’s fourth-largest greenhouse gas emitter.

power plant

Magistralnaya Street coal-fired power plants in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 2017 (Photo by Andrey Filippov)

President Biden took action his first day in office to return the United States to the Paris Agreement. The Leaders Summit on Climate will underscore the urgency, and the economic benefits, of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held November 1-12 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In recent years, scientists have underscored the need to limit planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the temperature at the start of the Industrial Revolution in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change. A key goal of both the Leaders Summit and COP26 will be to catalyze efforts that keep that 1.5-degree goal within reach.

The Leaders Summit will also highlight examples of how enhanced climate ambition will create good-paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts.

By the time of the Summit, the United States will announce what the White House calls “an ambitious 2030 emissions target” as its new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.

In his invitation, President Biden urged world leaders to use the Summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries will contribute to stronger climate ambition.

The Summit will reconvene the U.S.-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, which brings together 17 countries responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and global GDP.

The President also invited the heads of other countries that are demonstrating strong climate leadership, are especially vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovative pathways to a net-zero economy. A small number of business leaders and civil society leaders will also participate in the Summit.

Key themes of the Summit will include:

The Dabancheng Wind Farm is on the road from Urumqi to Turpan, China, 2011 (Photo by Asian Development Bank)

* – Galvanizing efforts by the world’s major economies to reduce emissions during this critical decade to keep a limit to warming of 1.5 degree Celsius within reach.

* – Mobilizing public and private sector finance to drive the net-zero transition and to help vulnerable countries cope with climate impacts.

* – The economic benefits of climate action, with a strong emphasis on job creation, and the importance of ensuring all communities and workers benefit from the transition to a new clean energy economy.

* – Spurring transformational technologies that can help reduce emissions and adapt to climate change, while also creating enormous new economic opportunities and building the industries of the future.

* – Showcasing subnational and non-state actors that are committed to green recovery and an equitable vision for limiting warming to 1.5 degree Celsius, and are working closely with national governments to advance ambition and resilience.

* – Discussing opportunities to strengthen capacity to protect lives and livelihoods from the impacts of climate change, address the global security challenges posed by climate change and the impact on readiness, and address the role of nature-based solutions in achieving net-zero by 2050.

The President invited the following leaders to participate in the Summit:

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda
President Alberto Fernandez, Argentina
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh
Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, Bhutan
President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada
President Sebastián Piñera, Chile
President Xi Jinping, People’s Republic of China
President Iván Duque Márquez, Colombia
President Félix Tshisekedi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Denmark
President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission
President Charles Michel, European Council
President Emmanuel Macron, France
President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon
Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India
President Joko Widodo, Indonesia
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Italy
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Jamaica
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Japan
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya
President David Kabua, Republic of the Marshall Islands
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand
President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria
Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway
President Andrzej Duda, Poland
President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea
President Vladimir Putin, The Russian Federation
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore
President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Spain
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey
President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Kingdom
President Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Vietnam

Further details on the Summit agenda, additional participants, media access, and public viewing will be provided in the coming weeks.

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